Where Google Analytics Falls Short and What You Can Do About It

Google Analytics is a free digital marketing and sales analytics platform used by over 50 million people.

It’s great for revealing how visitors engage with a website, how they got there, and some helpful demographic and geographic information about who they are.

However, it can’t measure everything, including offline visits unless someone actually makes a purchase. Even then, it would require the collection of additional information and data import management in order for it to get captured. GA has dominated the analytics market, helping numerous businesses with website tracking and engagement, however, there are some areas where it could use a little help.

Five solutions for getting more out of your Google Analytics:

  1. Online to Offline Attribution – It used to be that Google Analytics couldn’t tell a business why someone left its site. It’s not always a bad thing; the buyer might have decided to call or visit the business location instead of purchasing online. As shopping behavior emerges – connecting online and offline shopping behavior in analytics tools is more important than ever. The solution, Google Attribution 360, allows marketers to assess which in-store sales can be attributed to display, search, email, social and more.
  2. Google Analytics User Interface – At first glance, the number of charts and tables can be overwhelming and complicated. And installing the Javascript code incorrectly can result in missing data. The solution is that Google provides a free support center and certification training. Of course, this requires an extra time investment to learn how the tool works.
  3. Call Tracking – BIA/Kelsey predicts the number of mobile calls to businesses will reach 125 billion in 2018. This number will only increase as click-to-call and voice search make it easier to connect with businesses by phone. Although Google Analytics doesn’t provide call tracking directly, there are several third-party services that can help with unique phone numbers for specific campaigns and help connect calls with events inside Google Analytics. Check out CallRail, TruMeasure, Marchex and Google AdWords Call Conversions for call tracking numbers.
  4. Personal Tracking –The Google Analytics Terms of Service prohibit capturing personally identifiable information. Basically, no username, name, IP address, Social Security number, date or place of birth can be tracked. But, without some of that information, it can be difficult to attribute campaign performance across multiple devices. To analyze a campaign across multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data back to a specific user, Google Analytics allows you to set up User-ID. Benefits of implementing User-ID include; getting a more accurate user count, special reporting, and the ability to compare relationships between acquisitions, engagements, and conversions for future marketing campaigns. Read how to implement User-ID here.
  5. Google Analytics “Pay to Play” – Basic Google Analytics is free. But Google also offers a paid version, Google Analytics 360. A few differences between the two solutions are data collection, sampling, and sources and how the data is processed by volume. Google Analytics 360 has unlimited hits per month and up to 200 custom dimensions per web property. Standard Google Analytics is free, but businesses are limited to up to 10 million hits per month, and if that number is exceeded, the data can get skewed. There are also differences in the level of support. With Google Analytics, support mainly comes from Google’s help pages, manual, blogs and online community. Whereas Google Analytics 360 comes with a dedicated account manager. To learn more, refer to this chart to compare Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360, or feel free to contact us.

By tracking and analyzing visitor behavior your business can make better, data-driven decisions and ultimately meet your marketing goals.

If you feel like you need help tracking your key performance indicators, you can contact Dream Local Digital. We’ve got some folks who would be happy to assist.